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Soldiers Set To Invade Plateau Villages For Killers

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SAN FRANCISCO, July 15, (THEWILL) – Men of the Special Military Task Force have been deployed by the Defence Headquarters, Abuja, to overrun villages in Plateau State, where masterminds of last week’s killings in Barkin Ladi and Riyom, are reported to still be holing up.

More than 20 people, including Senator Gyang Dantong and majority leader of the Plateau State House of Assembly, Gyang Fulani, were killed when suspected Fulani herdsmen swooped on a mass burial for victims of the 7th-July attacks in Barkin Ladi and Riyom. About 37 people died in the gun attack, which was later claimed by the Boko Haram Islamist sect.

Giving the order, STF Commander, Major-General Henry Ayoola revealed that certain communities — Mahanga, Kakuruk, Kuzen, Maseh and Shong 2 — in Barkin Ladi and Riyom Local Governments had been told to vacate the areas within two days.

“The criminals, having failed in their attempts to continue to instigate communal strife in Plateau, decided to wear military type uniforms and attack directly innocent citizens in parts of the state,” a statement signed by director of defence information, Col Mohammed Yerima, noted.

“This direct attack was obviously decided upon when these criminals realised that their previous tactics of inciting one section of the populace against another is no longer working because the people of Plateau State have seen through the divisive technique of these ungodly people.”

Describing the order as complying with international humanitarian laws and consistent with best global practices, Ayoola pleaded that it should not be misconstrued in bad light.

“The villages are not inhabited by one tribe; no one should see our action as targeted against any particular group,” he said. “We are an unbiased umpire in charge of maintaining peace and ensuring security of lives and property.”

He added that the Military had no interest in the politics of the state and should, therefore, not be seen by anyone as favouring any group.